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Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

Greg A. Handel

(Eugene)

(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...

Article

(b Erie, PA, Dec 2, 1866; d Stamford, CT, Sept 12, 1949). American singer, composer, arranger, and music editor. His early music study included piano, voice, guitar, and bass viol. In January 1892 he won a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Among Conservatory faculty who influenced his career were Victor Herbert and Antonín Dvořák, director of the conservatory from September 1892 to April 1895. Burleigh became Dvořák’s copyist and librarian of the Conservatory orchestra, in which he played timpani and bass viol. He sang plantation songs and spirituals for Dvořák that he had learned from his grandfather, a former slave. Dvořák’s Symphony no.9 in E minor, “From the New World,” was written and premiered while Burleigh was at the Conservatory.

In New York Burleigh took his place among prominent African American singers such as soprano Sissieretta Jones (known as the Black Patti). In the years ...

Article

Michael Fend

(Carlo Zanobi Salvadore Maria )

(b Florence, 8/Sept 14, 1760; d Paris, March 15, 1842). Italian, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, theorist, and music publisher, active in France. He took French citizenship, probably in 1794, and was a dominant figure in Parisian musical life for half a century. He was a successful opera composer during the Revolutionary period, and had comparable success with religious music from the beginning of the Restoration. He was made director of the Paris Conservatoire and consolidated its pre-eminent position in music education in Europe.

In the biographical preface to his work catalogue, compiled in 1831, Cherubini gave 8 and 14 September as his dates of birth, but the records of the baptistery of S Giovanni state that he was born on 14 September (and baptized the following day). He was the tenth of 12 children. It has been claimed that his mother died when he was four years old (Pougin, ...

Article

Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

Leon Plantinga

The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

Argia Bertini

revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano

(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...

Article

David Nicholls and Joel Sachs

(Dixon )

(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.

Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...

Article

Jerome Roche

[Johannes]

(b Veringenstadt, nr Sigmaringen, 1585; d Rottenburg am Neckar, 1654). German music editor, singer, teacher and composer. He studied at the University of Dillingen, one of the main cultural centres of south-west Germany, and in 1610 took a post as singer at St Martin, Rottenburg. This carried with it duties as a schoolteacher: in this capacity he became Rektor of the school in 1622 and in his musical capacity Kapellmeister of the church in 1627.

Donfrid is chiefly interesting as an editor who saw it as his task to propagate in Catholic southern Germany the best and most popular church music by Italian composers of his day. To this end he published five large anthologies at Strasbourg in the 1620s: the tripartite Promptuarii musici, consisting of motets arranged in a liturgical cycle, as had been done by other editors, such as Schadaeus, before him; the Viridarium, devoted to Marian pieces; and the ...

Article

Robert M. Copeland

revised by Dale Cockrell

(b Parsonfield, ME, Aug 3, 1820; d Hyde Park, MA, Sept 29, 1915). American composer, editor, music educator, and conductor. He attended Parsonfield Academy and Effingham Union Academy (NH) as a boy, then matriculated at Dracut Academy (MA), intending to become a physician. His father, a prosperous farmer, had taught him to play the cello, and that sparked an abiding interest in music. He moved to the Boston area in 1841, where he attended singing schools under Benjamin F. Baker and George F. Root. In 1844 he began more formal musical training with Isaac B. Woodbury in Boston, studying voice, piano, organ, and music theory. Emerson moved to Salem, Massachusetts, afterwards, where he taught music privately, was involved in local school matters, and directed a choir. He was later the organist and music director at Bullfinch Street Church, Boston, for four years, then at Second Congregational Church, Greenfield, MA for eight years, while teaching concurrently at Powers’ Institute in Bernardstown. By the 1870s he was devoting himself full time to editing, composing, compiling, and conducting (some 350 festivals and musical conventions); he also sang and was known widely as a lecturer....

Article

Robert Pascall

(b Frauental, Styria, May 5, 1842; d Vöslau, nr Vienna, Oct 5, 1899). Austrian conductor, teacher, editor and composer, brother of Robert Fuchs. He studied theory with Simon Sechter in Vienna and was appointed Kapellmeister of the Bratislava Opera in 1864. He then worked as an opera conductor in Brno (where his only opera, Zingara, was first produced in 1872), Kassel, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig and finally, from 1880, at the Vienna Hofoper. In 1873 he married the singer Anthonie Exner in Kassel. Fuchs became a professor of composition at the Vienna Conservatory in 1888 and succeeded Hellmesberger as its director in 1893; the next year he received the title of assistant Hofkapellmeister for his work at the court opera. He played an important part in preparing the Schubert Gesamtausgabe, editing the dramatic works and some of the orchestral music. He also edited operas by Handel, Gluck and Mozart and wrote songs and piano pieces....

Article

Noal Cohen

[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]

(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...

Article

Robert Orledge and Andrew Thomson

(b Paris, Mar 27, 1851; d Paris, Dec 2, 1931). French composer, teacher, conductor and editor of early music. His famed veneration for Beethoven and Franck has unfortunately obscured the individual character of his own compositions, particularly his fine orchestral pieces descriptive of southern France. As a teacher his influence was enormous and wideranging, with benefits for French music far outweighing the charges of dogmatism and political intolerance.

Andrew Thomson

D’Indy came from a military aristocratic family from the Ardèche region, a fact of the greatest importance in understanding his lifelong nationalist and right-wing political position. His mother died in childbirth, and he was brought up by his paternal grandmother, Thérèse (née de Chorier). Her strict regime, however, was mitigated by deep affection: she was not the tyrannical ogress of received opinion. D’Indy took lessons in piano from Louis Diémer and theory from Albert Lavignac; while showing definite promise, he showed more interest as a boy in military matters and the life of his hero Napoleon. At 18, having passed his ...

Article

L. Brett Scott

(Walter)

(b Port Colborne, ON, Oct 14, 1927; d Caledon East, ON, April 3, 1998). Canadian choral conductor, arranger, editor, and teacher. After graduating from the University of Toronto (BM 1950), he conducted the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and All-Varsity Mixed Chorus, was a choir member at St. Mary Magdelene Church under Healey Willan, and apprenticed with Sir Ernest MacMillan as assistant conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. In 1964 he was appointed conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, a position he held until 1997. He taught choral music at the University of Toronto from 1965 to 1968, and was Adjunct Professor from 1997 until his death in 1998. After his death, the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting was established in his honor.

Iseler’s work with his professional choirs established his reputation in Canada and internationally. In 1954 he helped found Canada’s first professional choir, the Toronto Festival Singers. He founded the Elmer Iseler Singers in ...

Article

Katherine K. Preston and Michael Meckna

(b Davenport, IA, March 15, 1924; d Seattle, March 5, 1977). American composer, music publisher and pianist . He studied composition with George McKay at the University of Washington (1938–42) and after military service joined the faculty there to teach piano and theory (1947–9). He was music director of the Eleanor King Dance Company (1947–50) and the pianist of the Seattle SO (1948–51); during these years he performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest in chamber ensembles and as a soloist.

In 1951 Johnson moved to New York, where he worked in the music publishing business as education director for Mercury Music (1951–4), head of the orchestral department at C.F. Peters (1954–8) and president of Dow Publishers (1957–62). After returning to Seattle, he served at the helm of the Cornish School of Music (1962–9) and in ...

Article

[Jan Antonín, Ioannes Antonius]

(b Velvary, June 26, 1747; d Vienna, May 7, 1818). Bohemian composer, pianist, music teacher and publisher. He was baptized Jan Antonín, but began (not later than 1773) to use the name Leopold to differentiate himself from his older cousin of that name. He received his basic music education in Velvary and then studied music in Prague with his cousin, who probably gave him a thorough grounding in counterpoint and vocal writing, and with F.X. Dušek, whose piano and composition school prepared him mainly for writing symphonies and piano sonatas. After the success of his first ballets and pantomimes (performed in Prague, 1771–8), Kozeluch abandoned his law studies for a career as a musician. In 1778 he went to Vienna, where he quickly made a reputation as an excellent pianist, teacher and composer. By 1781 he was so well established there that he could refuse an offer to succeed Mozart as court organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg. By ...

Article

(b Brussels, May 28, 1777; d Paris, Dec 18, 1858). Flemish composer, conductor, publisher and teacher. He was the son of Henri Mees (b Brussels, 1757; d Warsaw, 31 Jan 1820), principal baritone of the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, and of Anne-Marie Vitzthumb, a singer. He showed precocious musical talent: at the age of five he sang in a church choir, at seven he began to study the violin and at ten he played in the orchestra of the Monnaie. He had further violin studies with J.-E. Pauwels and lessons in harmony and counterpoint with his grandfather Ignaz Vitzthumb. In 1794, during the second French occupation, the family emigrated to Hamburg, where Henri Mees and other Brussels artists established a theatre for the Comédie-Française; Joseph-Henri occasionally sang secondary roles and conducted the orchestra there. He also opened a music shop, from which he published works from the Parisian repertory....

Article

Richard Jackson

[?Richard ]

(fl c1806–36). Pianist, teacher, publisher, and composer, probably of French origin. He was one of the many musicians in New York in the early 19th century who dabbled in several musical activities in order to earn a living. Meetz was listed as a music teacher in New York directories from 1810 to 1836 (he claimed in newspaper advertisements to have been a pupil of Mozart). He also appeared as a pianist, sold pianos, and sold and published music. Meetz was primarily the New York agent for the Philadelphia music publisher George E. Blake, though he did publish a few titles under his own name; two of his works for piano, General Lafayette’s Grand March and Quick Step (1824) and General Montgomery’s Dead March (?1818), bear a Philadelphia imprint. He was probably related to the pianist Cesarine Meetz and the pianist and singer Julius Metz...

Article

Joanne Swenson-Eldridge

(b 1793; d Philadelphia, June 4, 1873). American conductor, composer, publisher and teacher of French birth . He was a bandmaster in Napoleon’s army before emigrating to the USA, where he settled in Philadelphia (1828). In 1833 he was elected a member of the Musical Fund Society; that same year he founded the Philharmonic Society, an amateur orchestra in Philadelphia. His transcriptions of operatic excerpts and popular songs for the guitar date from as early as 1832. In 1835 he joined the music publisher Augustus Fiot in establishing the firm of Fiot and Meignen. After their partnership was dissolved in 1839, Meignen continued in the music publishing business until 1842. He succeeded Charles Hupfeld as conductor of the Musical Fund Society Orchestra during the 1844–5 season and held the post until 1857; his Grand Military Symphony was first performed under his direction on 17 April 1845. He also conducted the première of William Henry Fry’s ...

Article

Anne Dhu McLucas

(b Edinburgh, June 1, 1776; d Philadelphia, Dec 11, 1831). American cellist, teacher, composer and music publisher of Scottish birth. He was the son of the Edinburgh cellist and composer J.G.C. Schetky and a nephew of Alexander Reinagle. Schetky emigrated to the USA in 1787 and became active as a performer and music teacher in Philadelphia, where he lived with the musicians Benjamin Carr and Joseph C. Taws. With Carr he was co-editor of The Musical Journal for the Piano Forte (vols.iii–v) and published music from about 1802 to 1811. Between 1812 and 1818 he apparently visited Britain, for he published piano compositions by his father and himself in London and Edinburgh. He was a co-founder in 1820 of the Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia, which owns a portrait of him.